NEW DELHI, India -- Japan and South Korea made waves in swimming and a fast Filipino starlet ran off with her country's first gold in athletics at the ninth Asian Games Saturday.
The swimming Choi sisters of Seoul -- Choi Youn Hee and Choi Youn Jung -- won gold and silver, respectively, in both the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter individual medley.
Youn Hee, 15, and Youn Jung, 16, also finished with a gold and a silver in Tuesday's 200-meter backstroke, thus winning six medals between them in three events.
'I prefer the 100-meter backstroke, but I was asked to also swim the 200-meter backstroke and did it because I have the stamina,' Youn Hee said.
At the 75,000-seat Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Filipino starlet Lydia de Vega won the Philippines' first track gold of the games with a win in the 100-meter dash.
De Vega, 17, crossed the finish line in 11.76 seconds, followed by India's P.T. Usha with a time of 11.95 seconds. South Korea's Myung Hee Mee took the bronze in 11.99 seconds.
'I had a late start (today) but I am running very, very hard,' said the Manila-based runner, who recently starred in a Philippine film about her life. 'The women from Hong Kong and Japan are very strong and they came out fast. I was running only third, but I finally caught up with them in the last 10 meters.
'I thought I would win because I have a lot of confidence.'
India's M.D. Valsamma won the women's 400-meter hurdles in a Games record time of 58.47 seconds.
The long-legged Indian girl bettered the previous Games record of 1:01.32 set by China's Zhan Xin at the 1978 Bangkok Asiad.
'I am very happy now,' the 21-year-old railway clerk said. 'They drew me in the eighth lane. It was very difficult.'
Valsamma's coach, A.K. Kutty, said he spent the night trying to convince the Indian speedster she could win despite the draw.
'I told her that Edwin Moses set his world record in the 400-meter hurdles in the eighth lane,' Kutty said.
Japan's Yumiko Aoi took the silver with a time of 59.08 seconds, followed by China's Liu Guihua in 59.42 seconds.
Susumu Takano of Japan won the gold in the men's 400-meter final with a time of 46.65 seconds.
'I can go back to Japan with much pride for winning the gold,' Takano, a 21-year-old university student, said. 'I was quite confident of winning the gold medal. My strategy was to make my move in the last 100 meters.'
India's K.K. Premchandran won the silver with a time of 47.27 seconds, while Guo Shunqi of China took the bronze with a time of 47.36 seconds.
In the women's shot put final, China grabbed a gold, a silver and a new Asiad record.
Li Meisu won the gold with a toss of 58 feet, 3 inches, breaking the former Games record of 58-1 set by Shen Lijuan of China at Bangkok in 1978.
Shen won the silver in Saturday's event with a throw of 56-7 , followed by Japan's Tetsuko Watase, who took the bronze with her put of 45-7 .
North Korean runners swept the gold and silver medals in the women's 3,000-meter race.
Current Asiad record holder Ok Sun Kim won the gold with a time of 9:30.22.
Kim, who set the Asiad record of 9:24.7 at the 1978 Bangkok Games, pulled away from the pack at the start and had built up a 25-meter lead by the end of the first lap.
'The final result was thanks to my everyday training,' said the 24-year-old medical student. 'I exercise three hours a day.'
Kim's countrywoman, Kim Chun Hwa, took the silver with a time of 9:32.36, followed by Shino Izutsu of Japan in 9:34.44.
Japanese swimmers took two golds Saturday -- in the men's 100-meters backstroke and the men's 4-by-200 meter freestyle relay.
Kenji Ikeda became the first in Asia to break the 1-minute mark in the men's 100-meter backstroke, timing 59.91 to take the gold medal for Japan.
Hidetoshi Takahashi of Japan took the silver and Lukman Niode of Indonesia won the bronze.